How Holy Cross Energy Rate Change Will Impact Your Residential and Business Solar

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Below is an informational email that Active Energies Solar has sent out to all of our solar customers that will be affected by the Proposed Rate Change that Holy Cross Energy announced on March 1st, 2023. As a company, we feel that it is our obligation to inform our customers of the details of this proposal, educate them on its impact, and provide information on what steps they can take.  Whether or not you are a customer of Active Energies Solar, we invite you to join the conversation.

Email to Customers:

Good Evening,

First, I want to thank you for your investment in solar, doing your part to be energy independent, and the transition to clean, green renewable energy!  We as a company are grateful for both your business, and your trust in our people who serve you.

In response to the Holy Cross Energy (HCE) rate change announcement, I wanted to personally address the many questions we have received from our customers regarding the impact on their residential and business solar.

As a summary, HCE has decided to divide and break out the costs for electric service in an effort to increase their revenues.  This change is discriminatory and punishes a significant percentage of the customers that they serve; those that have solar, and those that want solar in the future.  Solar customers without a battery will likely only see a positive return on their investment under this new rate structure after 21 to 22 years, vs. the 8–10-year payback currently.  By separating the cost of the electricity that we consume, the delivery of that electricity, demand charges for peak time usage, along with doubling the monthly CO-OP membership fees, HCE is forcing consumers with solar into a significant rate increase.

The spirit of the Colorado Net Metering Law is being circumvented.  The net metering law was intended to provide an incentive to homeowners and businesses to move our state towards clean energy.  This change being implemented by Holy Cross eliminates that incentive and would charge homeowners for the storage, delivery, and usage of the electricity that they produce on their own roofs!

A homeowner or business that has purchased renewable energy makes a significant financial investment in solar, and this modification drastically changes the economic payback on the investment they have made.

For an example, I own a modestly sized townhome (1500 sf) with a solar array (6.4kW DC), which offsets my entire annual electrical consumption.  Without battery storage, I paid $12.74 per month (the HCE membership fee), or $152.88 annually.  Under this proposed change, in 2025 (when the full plan goes into effect), my annual bill would be $950.13, an increase of almost 622%!  This increase can be even worse if a solar array does not completely offset annual electrical consumption.

The question now is: Does this dramatic change in how we pay for our energy and delivery of that energy need to change?  The answer is NO!

On the surface, what HCE is doing seems reasonable; they are trying to raise revenues by 2%.  In an environment where inflation is currently more than 6% annually, this seems like a prudent financial decision.  Costs for everything in our lives are increasing, so HCE’s desire to cover their increasing costs for labor, and maintaining the infrastructure of one of the most reliable electric utilities in the nation is appropriate.

However, Holy Cross Energy is not in financial distress, nor would maintaining the existing rate structure put them in financial peril.  This proposed change not only contradicts HCE’s own goal of supporting 100% clean energy for the future, but also severely penalizes members who have proactively invested tens of thousands of dollars in solar energy, and taking the freedom of choice away from those members who want to invest in solar in the future.  The responsible path forward for HCE, would be to just increase their rates across the board by 2% to raise the revenue the seek in this time of growing costs and inflation.  They have not raised their rates since 2018.

We don’t need this drastic and punitive change, which has the potential to threaten Colorado’s advance towards 100% renewable energy by 2040, a goal the Governor has put forth.

This change also creates an immensely negative effect on the push for beneficial electrification, reduction and move away from fossil fuels in buildings, and harms lower income members of the community.

Please feel free to reach out to Active Energies, we are here to answer your questions.  I encourage you to submit a public comment to the Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors, the Governor’s office, and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission expressing your concern and opposition to this proposal that will dramatically impact your solar investment, and your pocketbook.

The public comment period deadline for you to make your voice heard is April 30th, 2023, so Holy Cross members and the community have time to voice their opinion if they want this change to occur or not.

To leave a comment for the Holy Cross Board of Directors:

To leave a comment for the Governor’s office:

To Leave a comment for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission:  or

With warmest regards,

Rich Clubine

Owner, Active Energies Solar, LLC